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Dipesh Bhagabati1, Shyamanta Das2, Shamiul Akhtar Borbora3, Rahul Mathur4, Simanta Talukdar5, Sakhee Bujarbarua6Professor and Head, 2Assistant Professor, 3,4Postgraduate Trainee, 5Resident Physician, Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College Hospital, 6Lecturer of Statistics, Swadeshi Academy, Guwahati, Assam, India



Bed use by substance users in general psychiatric wing of a medical college, where the number of beds are limited, may affect the service to be provided to the patients of other primary mental illnesses. Hence it would be helpful for the hospital service providers and authorities to know the exact number of beds occupied by substance users, and to identify any pattern in such bed use, e.g. seasonal variation, demographic variation, admission-seeking behaviour among users of different substances. In the long run, findings of this and subsequent such studies may help policy-making, to direct necessary administrative efforts to the target populations.

Keywords: Alcoholism. Comorbidity. Mental Disorders.


Review of literature

Alcoholism is a major public health problem around the world. About half of the world population consumes alcohol. For all years the mean adult per capita consumption is 5.1 litres of pure alcohol.[1] The magnitude of the problem in our country is considerable given that India has the second largest population in the world, with 33% of its population consuming alcohol.[2] It is also a matter of concern that the annual rise in consumption is substantial according to the latest report by World Health Organization.[2]

Several studies were undertaken to determine the prevalence of alcohol-related problems among inpatient samples in different countries. The results of the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey in the United States showed that 15% to 42% of men and 4% to 35% of women admitted to general medical-surgical services have alcohol related problems.[3]

In order to determine the prevalence of ‘alcohol use disorders’, as diagnosed by the criteria of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)[4], in short-stay general hospital admissions, Smothers et al.[5] designed a multistage probability sample to represent acute care admissions to non-federal, short-stay general hospitals. An estimated 1.8 million annual hospital admissions met the criteria for a current DSM-IV alcohol use disorder. Overall prevalence was estimated to be 7.4% among current drinking related admissions; estimated prevalence was 24.0%. Pair wise comparisons showed significant elevations in the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in current drinking related admissions who were younger, unmarried, of a lower socioeconomic status, smokers, or drug users.

Kouimtsidis et al.[6] in their study in the UK found that 14% of an inpatient sample was positive for alcohol misuse; and people misusing one substance were more likely to be misusing others.


Aims and objectives

·         To determine the bed occupancy in indoor psychiatric service of an academic medical centre by substance users.

·         To find out the different types of substances used by such occupants.

·         To compare between demographic parameters among such substance users.

·         To observe the change of pattern of psychiatric bed occupied by substance users over the months, throughout a year.



Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Ethical Board, Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH).

Geographical area: The study will be conducted in GMCH.

Study period: September 2014 to August 2015.

Study type: A prospective chart review study.

Sampling procedure: Serial sampling.

Sample size: All the patients admitted during the study period.

Study population: Both sexes.


Inclusion criteria

Patients admitted in psychiatry ward of GMCH, for substance use related disorders.


Exclusion criteria

Patients admitted with primary psychiatric disorder without co-morbid substance use.



Collected data would be observed through a master chart.

Sl. no.

Identification no.

Catchment area





Duration of stay



Mode of discharge














DoA=date of admission, DoD=date of discharge

Descriptive statistics including number, percentage, mean, standard deviation (SD), and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) will be used for data assessment.



Results of the study will be critically discussed in view of its aims and objectives; and compared with previous similar studies. A final conclusion will be drawn from the discussion, highlighting the implications of the study and future directions. Limitations of various aspects of this proposed study will be noted, as they arise during the progression of the study.



1.      World Health Organization. Global status report on alcohol 2004 [internet]. Geneva: Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization; 2004 [cited 2014 Sep 2]. Available from:

2.      World Health Organization. WHO Expert Committee on Problems Related to Alcohol Consumption. 2nd report (WHO technical report series; no. 944) [internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2007 [cited 2014 Sep 2]. Available from:

3.      Grant BF. Prevalence and correlates of alcohol use and DSM-IV alcohol dependence in the United States: results of the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. J Stud Alcohol 1997;58:464-73.

4.      American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 1994.

5.      Smothers BA, Yahr HT, Ruhl CE. Detection of alcohol use disorders in general hospital admissions in the United States. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:749-56.

6.      Kouimtsidis C, Reynolds M, Hunt M, Lind J, Beckett J, Drummond C, et al. Substance use in the general hospital. Addict Behav. 2003;28:483-99.